Jan 21, 2022
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Prospering Your Business and Investing in Your Staff With an EAP

happy worker at desk employee assistance program

    Prospering Your Business and Investing in Your Staff With an EAP

    Now more than ever, a robust Employee Assistance Program is essential to the wellbeing, productivity, and retention of your workforce. With so much continued uncertainty in our markets, an effective company-sponsored EAP can mean the difference between a strong workforce and a sluggish staff.

    Employees are making greater demands of their employers as their personal and professional lives are making greater demands of them individually. Family safety, child or elderly parent care, financial impacts, and general continued stressors of the lingering uncertainty in the economy are wearing down the health and wellbeing of our nation’s greater workforce numbers.

    If we’re to move our markets into recovery, the way we care for our workforce is the new frontline. The implementation of a robust Employee Assistance Program is becoming a standardized metric for employers looking to maintain a healthy and productive workforce.

     

    What is an EAP and why is it important?

    An Employee Assistance Program, or EAP, offers your employees confidential, round-the-clock access to services that protect the wellbeing and mental health of the employee and their families. This can include telehealth digital services, online counseling, and increased access to helplines for mental and physical ailments affecting one’s ability to work and perform responsibilities.

    Luzette Graves, Medical Case Manager at Morris & Garritano, explains that “the greatest value Employee Assistance Programs provide employers is professional help in addressing behavior that impedes an employee’s ability to perform their job duties accurately and timely.”

    The links between mental and physical health are taking center stage as we learn more about the importance of supporting each aspect of one’s overall health in the longevity of a productive workforce.

    As the social and economic climate continues its trends of high unpredictability, paying attention to employees’ mental well-being as part of their entire health is more important than ever. Statistics show that 45% of the workforce reports the ongoing pandemic to have affected their mental health and well-being. More than half of that number reports having never received any aid or professional help with their decreased performance and increased stress levels.

    EAPs support both the employees and the employer by increasing workplace efficiency and overall retention. With an effective EAP in place, employees are found to have higher levels of productivity and choose to remain in their workplaces longer when their needs for health and well-being are being recognized, valued, and met. This increase in retention can lead to improved workplace culture, improved productivity, and reduced expenses from recruiting and training replacements.

    Inversely, employees are more likely to leave a workplace when their needs are not being met and stressors are left unattended to, ultimately increasing the possibility  of burnout, substance abuse, and other health issues. This can be seen in the current market with the New York Times reporting more than 4.5 million Americans having voluntarily quit their jobs in November 2021, up from the 4.1 million who resigned in October.

    High turnover can be combatted in part by employers choosing to offer more robust EAPs and investing in their workforce to provide the necessary care and preventative treatment before an employee chooses to leave. Our EB and HR teams at M&G have spoken on this extensively and offered various resources for businesses to boost their compensation packages and improve workplace cultures.

     

    Why Now? Forecasting EAPs in 2022

    Employees are demanding help as part of their overall compensation from employers as both their professional and personal lives are feeling greater strains and demands across most sectors and industries. In this recognition and prioritization of employee well-being, companies can expect greater retention and productivity from their workforce. Employers can help themselves by helping their staff.

    “The way we support employees has changed,” says Dan Troy, Principal and Sr. Benefits Advisor, at Morris & Garritano. “The importance of benefits is increasing, and the long-term impacts are worth the investment.”

    Employers can’t reverse the impact of difficulties from the pandemic on their employees and their families. Ben Hoover, Morris & Garritano’s Sr. Employee Benefits Advisor & Practice Leader notes the trends and increased demand for EAPs saying employers will need to provide a “robust and competitive benefits package” in the coming year to recruit and retain in what he notes as “one of the tightest employment markets we have seen in many years.” A robust EAP can set you apart as the employer of choice.

    Without the investment of an EAP for their employees, employers should expect continued difficulties in trying to recruit and retain a strained and exhausted workforce. A healthy economy is supported by a healthy workforce, supported by an employer willing to invest in the well-being and productivity of their employees.

     

    Connecting Employees to Available Benefits from Their EAP

    For your employees to take the most advantage of the EAP you offer them, it’s important to make sure the full offerings of their benefits are well communicated so that your workforce knows what they have and how to access it.

    Luzette encourages employers to become familiar with the offerings within an EAP. “It’s important for HR professionals to find the time to get familiar with the program in advance so that when a crisis occurs, they are knowledgeable and comfortable referring the employee either directly to the program or to our advocacy services for assistance.”

    By protecting the care and wellbeing of your workforce, you can protect and prosper your business. Whether you’re initiating the rollout of a new EAP, enhancing one already in place, or looking to better educate your staff on their existing benefits, our team at M&G can help you along the process offering support in any way you need.

    For more support, you can reach out to your Employee Benefits Broker or Account Manager with M&G. You can also find resources online at morrisgarritano.com.

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